Your big events are booked. You’re sticking to your budget and keeping operating costs low. There must be some ways for you to generate additional revenue at your venue. In the highly competitive events industry, venues are constantly looking for ways to decrease dark days and to use available resources to increase revenue. Here are four ways the most successful venues generate new revenue streams.
1. Market your venue for use by nontraditional events. Jason Williams, program director for sports business management at Maryville University in St. Louis was quoted in the St. Louis Business Journal last year, “The business of sports is more than just a ball or racket or club. It’s entertainment.” Williams estimated that sporting venues can bring in anywhere from $500,000 to $7 million a year from special events. What does that mean for your venue? Leave no space unbooked. Nontraditional events need space, too. Arenas that are configured for the task should market their space to conferences. Convention centers should target performance events.
2. Offer more services to your clients that would normally come from a third party. Build relationships with new vendors so your organization can receive a percentage of what happens in your building while they coordinate the services. Or become the vendor yourself and offer services such as online and onsite registration to organizations planning events at your venue. Your clients will appreciate your one stop shop services.
3. Sell targeted sponsorships or ad space to companies for specific events. Use creative, innovative advertising to secure sponsorships or advertisers. Consider all possible advertising space in your building. Use appropriate placement to gain sponsors, such as installing branded hand sanitizer or advertising soap brands in restrooms. Digital signage and menu boards can be used for more than just communication. Sell digital rotating ads or logo placement targeted to specific events. The Neilsen Company recently began tracking digital ad impressions. They reported that impressions from digital shopping mall signage were the highest ever recorded during the 2011 holiday shopping season.
4. Produce your own events. Nobody knows your market like you do. No one should know how to reach potential patrons in your community better than you. Do a thorough evaluation of the marketplace. Is there a need in your community for events that aren’t being offered? If so, fill the need! Create an event that targets those attendees. Produce a Home and Garden Show or Vacation Expo if these aren’t offered in your area. You’ll end up keeping more of the revenue from events that happen in your venue by generating events without the help of a third party planner. Just be careful that you produce events that don’t compete with your clients’ events.
Successful venues all over the world have used these strategies to increase revenue at their properties. Try integrating some of these strategies at your venue and you may be surprised at the increase in profit you’ll see with little or no additional cost to your organization.